Saturday, 23 July 2011

Boy Warriors grieve over their beloved pet

 I pleaded and pleaded with Mighty Prince Warrior, "Can we please get a dog?" and my request was always met with the same response, "No. I hate dogs." Remember the persistent widow in the Bible? That is what I became. I wasn't giving up that easy. I petitioned my husband for months. And then in a sacrificial act of love he consented.

I had already researched the breed of dog I wanted and found a breeder that had a litter of puppies for sale. I decided on a cavoodle (King Charles Caviller crossed with a poodle) because it would have a non-shedding coat and could be a lap dog. We drove for 2 hours to meet the breeder halfway to pick up our puppy, which we called 'Bella'.

Leader Boy Warrior held Bella on his lap for the whole trip home. The boys all fell madly and deeply in love with her immediately. (And so did Mighty Prince Warrior!) She was so small she fitted neatly in our hands and weighed under a kilogram. Mighty Prince Warrior and I would fight over who would have her on our lap at night as we watched tv.

She grew quickly and as she grew, she became part of our family. She loved being around all of us. She was one of the most affectionate and friendly dogs I had ever met. She became excited about visitors and hardly anyone could resist her persistence for pats.

She was very smart and if there was a way to get out of the yard or the house and run down the road then she would find it. And she wouldn't come back until she was ready to. She was cheeky, but we loved her anyway.

And then last Saturday, we returned home after watching my niece in a school musical. Usually Bella would run to the gate as soon as she saw our car, but I didn't notice that she wasn't there, as I was looking at my mobile phone as we pulled in. I noticed that no one had opened the back door to let Bella in, so I went to the back door. She wasn't jumping up enthusiastically as was her custom when we arrived home. I opened the door and saw Bella lying still on the patio. I called out to Mighty Prince Warrior, "Can you come here. I think something is wrong."

Mighty Prince Warrior felt for a pulse and checked her over and said, "She's gone." The boys at this stage had come outside to see what was going on and burst into tears. It was so upsetting for me as a mother to see my boys so upset. This was the first loss from death that the boy warriors had experienced. The boys cried for an hour and I let them. I don't want them to ever keep their emotions inside. 

Grief and loss is a part of life. I wanted so badly to take away the pain that the boys were feeling in their hearts. But I couldn't. They had to walk through their own personal journey of grief. I could only guide them through it the best I could.

I told the boys that over the next few days they may feel sad about losing Bella and that it was very normal. I told them that He gathers every tear that they cry as they are very precious to God.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. {Psalm 56:8} |
 I also told them that God is always close to the brokenhearted.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.~{Psalm 34:18} | 
I wanted them to know that they could always come to me for comfort, but true comfort could be found in the Comforter.

{Her hair got so matted it had dreadlocks. Her hair had to be sheared like a sheep}
There have been many times this week that one of the Boy Warriors have found a toy of Bella's, or something has reminded them of her, and there would be a flood of tears. All I could do was hold them and agree with them that it wasn't fair, and tell them that it won't always hurt like this.

I know a huge part of parenting is preparing them for the time when they leave home. We all experience loss on this earth. I am hoping that some good will come out of the loss of Bella. I am hoping that when they experience loss as adults through death, moving, disappointment, a break up or whatever form loss comes in, that they would know how to handle the grief that accompanies loss.

I am a big believer that although God doesn't want us to experience pain and doesn't inflict pain on us, He will use it to help us grow and when we have come through the other side, help others in their journey.
| He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.{2 Cor 1:4} |

{she loved tummy rubs}

{Goodbye Miss Bella.  8 Nov 2009 - 16 July 2011}

Still taking lessons from the King,


  1. Hi... I have been reading your blog for a while, but haven't yet commented... just felt that I wanted to this time...
    I pray blessing and comfort for you all, especially your little boys. I know, as a Mum (also of two boys), that it's so hard to see your dear ones grieving, and not really be able to take it away... but, well done, for bringing it back to the Comforter - in the end, He is the best and truest blessing....

  2. Aww...what a sweet pup Bella was. I'm so sorry for you and your boys suffering the loss.

    When we lost our shihtzu, Winston, back in 2000, I remember my oldest son Garrett bursting into tears and saying, "I want to die and go to heaven to be with Winston."

    Loss of a pet is just plain hard, but you are right to trust that God will use the pain for good.

    Your family is beautiful. (I have three sons, too.) It's fun being the only chick at home.

    Love, LeeBirdFree

  3. So sorry to hear of your little pet dying. I recently lost one of my dogs and it really hurt.

    I had him longer than any of my kids. The sweetest part was my little 2 year old son putting his hands on my cheeks whenever I was crying and saying "You'll be ok. You'll be fine, Mummy." and then cuddling me.

    I am sad for your family. Those little furry beings sure do find a way into our hearts.

    Hugs to you and yours,
    Jen in NSW

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart Jo.

    The way you helped your boys through the grief and pain while still dealing with your own is incredible.
    Your love for them and strength in The King is inspiring.

    Love you a million precious friend. xx

  5. :(

    I have been pestering my hub for a dog too so I totally relate to the beginning of your post.

    hugs xoxo

  6. I'm sorry about your beautiful little dog, big hugs for you all xxoo

  7. Thinking of you and your family. Its amazing the place a pet can take in our hearts. xxx

  8. She was such a cutie!
    I'm sorry that you lost her.
    We lost a pet 2 years ago and it was painful to watch our boys miss her so much.

  9. Very sad to hear of your loss. Bella was beautiful! I am a dog lover and even though they are animals they really do become a part of your family. Do you know what she died of? xxx

  10. Ah, my friend it has been so long since I have been blog visiting. I had to come over today. I've missed you.

    I'm so sorry about your Bella. I understand the grief of losing a loved pet. Our dog of 12 years died just a few days after David lost his job. It was quite traumatic for us all. He was old and it was time... but still, he had become a part of our family. We still miss him. I pray your boys hearts are starting to mend a little...

    I recently started a new blog... just felt so led to start afresh after 4 years of blogging.. I'm trying to write more frequently but it's challenging some weeks.

    Sure am glad to be here and see your beautiful family!! Much love, my friend....


  11. Oh that is such a sad post.
    But so glad you've found double the fun to bring joy again. xx

  12. Jo,

    I'm so sorry for you family's loss! From the pictures you posted I can see that Bella was a cute little dog. You are so right to allow your boys to grieve and go through the process. So often we are taught to push our feelings away and that isn't healthy. Allowing them this time will help shape them into more compassionate human beings as a result.

    Blessings, Joan

  13. Oh how sad for little Bella and your boys. I love the lessons you are teaching them early...inspiring.

    I just found your blog. It seems we have quite a bit in common. I'll be coming back often. Thanks for your words of wisdom.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

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Jo Princess Warrior xo